Day 1 kicked off with the announcement of AWS’ DBs running on vCenter. This is to dovetail with VMware in AWS. Trying to figure out how this makes sense, allowing AWS to make their move to on-prem. Makes me wonder if the same thinking here was the same thinking that led the wizard Saruman to make a deal with the dark lord Sauron.
VMware clearly is trying to prepare for a day where there are fewer on-prem workloads. There is more management with vRealize Cloud in the vRealize Suite. There is more growth in the replicate to VMC in AWS.
Meanwhile on the WAN front, there is the big announcement of the Velocloud purchase and pulling that into the NSX family. CEO Pat Gelsinger has that as a major announcement in his keynote following the AWS portion. I thought that NSX was going to be omitted from mention, but there they did get their spot before the end of the keynote – so it is still moving along.
On the vendor front, they occasionally threw an obvious line to Dell/EMC their major shareholders. This was especially true when it came to discussion around vSAN. vSAN seems to have a positive direction as it was positioned as a relevant technology as opposed to the bumps it had in years past where they were touting features over adoption. When talking about HyperConverged, it was vSAN, and it was Dell/EMC. And there was the subtle exclusion of Cisco on the slides. Dell/EMC, HPE, Lenovo were on the compute slides, but not Cisco.
There was a huge portion of Day 2 keynote to social action which Gelsinger mentioned a bit in Day 1. He specifically quoted and rejected Milton Friedman’s premise that a company should maximize shareholder value. I’m not sure if (1) he really believes this (2) he’s following Michael Dell’s lead being the majority shareholder (3) he’s trying to appease the Millennial crowd who want to see companies doing this – and these are the folks he wants to hire, or (4) some combination. It is probably some combination that leads to this errant view. But, there was a Nobel prize winner on Day 2 – though in the overflow room, the audio went out for minutes as they introduced her. A lot of time was spent trying to come up to speed afterward.
There were two announcements also around vmotion/svmotion on ARM chips and NVIDIA GPUs (not together).
The vendor hall was filled with the vendors you’d expect. Apparently, t-shirts are back. At my conferences attending a year ago, it seemed customer dress socks were the rage. This was my first multi-day conference at Mandalay Bay. The catered food is better at the Venetian/Sands convention complex than Mandalay’s. Personally, I spent a fair amount talking to different vendors that are involved in one of my projects to get advice on supportability of an odd use case that I’m dealing with.
The lab environment was done well – held on the bottom floor away from the top two levels which are much noisier (live music, etc.).
The 25,000 attendees made for congested hallways and escalators. But, I saw more former Denver colleagues there than I do when I’m around town here.